Sunday, March 19, 2023

The House Of Canoe (?)

Good Morning GALE!!!  Gale is Mother Nature's wild child.  She visits us often, swirling around 20-25 mph like a banshee.  It seems she will be hanging out here for the next three days, ramping up to 40 mph when she gets a good run at it.  Booyah!!!  So much for enjoying the warm beautiful weather we had yesterday at an all new location.

Your history lesson for today ..... in 1812, the father of Thomas and Ignacio Ortiz settled this tract of land in the Santa Cruz Valley.  In 1820, they petitioned the Spanish Governor (before Mexico became independent) for four land grants along the Santa Cruz River.  They received 17,000 acres for $250.00 (this is not a typo).

It was not without its perils for them ... this was along the Apache Plunder Trail traveled by marauding Indians all the way to Chihuahua.  By 1848, the only two grants left occupied were Tucson and Tubac.  The Ortiz brothers still owned the ranch when Americans began to pour in to the area.  Sadly, Ignacio was killed by the Tohono O'odham in 1857.  

Ironclad Pete Kitchen settled on the ranch in that year and refused to be run out.  He fortified the ranch with all the adobe walls you see today.  The ranch changed hands several times, eventually being purchased by Levi Manning it the 1920's when he named it Hacienda de la Canoa.  That is supposed to be the Spanish name for canoe ... on the lake I suppose.

The corn field as high as an elephants eye in the production of Oklahoma?  It was planted, grown and filmed right here at the ranch.  Who knew????  This lake was used not only for livestock water, but for fishing as well.   This is where Shirley Jones swam in the buff for Oklahoma.  This is now a County park with trails all around the area.

Who would ever think there would be a QUILT SHOW here too!  Luckily Patty caught a glimpse of that email that said GO HERE.  I'm very happy to say that Mr. Cooper was almost back to normal the next morning when he woke up.  The first indication was when he grabbed his ball and headed for the living room.  BOOYAH!!!  Boy did that make me feel better.  His smiling face was back.

So off we went to the Canoa Ranch.  I had heard of it before, but didn't know how extensive the place was.    It was added to the list of historic places on the National Registry and now offers bird watching tours and educational programs.  Since bird watching isn't exactly on my list, I never investigated the place.

It's rather confusing, the setup of buildings, each surrounded by adobe walls, none facing the same direction and seemingly placed rather haphazardly around the area.  That was maybe so they had a view of the Apaches coming from all sides? 

This is the before and after of the guest house, used as an office by Mr. Manning.  The adobe is about two feet thick, with the inside walls covered in the most amazing walnut paneling you've ever seen.  

Inside what looked like a teeny tiny bedroom were these gorgeous chaps.  Boy would I love to have THOSE!

Of course instead of going to the buildings in order, we opted to go against the grain and walk to the farthest building first.  

I'm sure this was a patio originally, eventually enclosed with glass to beat the Arizona heat.  The ceiling is held up with tree trunks along the entire long wall.  

Wouldn't you just love to sit here with your coffee every morning?  Funny ... Patty and I were just talking about those darn palm trees and how hard they were to prune.  All of these patios were covered in palm fronds originally, to help keep out the sun.  

Talk about the perfect place to grow fabulous flowers ... 

What did we come here for?  Oh yeah .... the quilt show.  I kept getting completely distracted by the buildings.  I was more interested in the architecture than the quilts, but here's a spectacular one of Noah's Ark.  

I admit, I probably took more pictures of the buildings than the quilts.  All I had was my phone, so these are not the best pictures.  This one ... I seem to be attracted to the quilts with just 3 different fabrics.

Although not my color choice, this one just shows the different quilting done in every single block.

The next larger building on the route must have been Mr. Mannings house.  I didn't get much information on this because I was too busy looking at stuff for sale.  This was the vendor area for the quilt show.  I did however, catch this nice fireplace.  

A quick look outside to the little patio found tulips blooming in the garden.

This place is way too big to show it all in one fell swoop, so tomorrow we'll tour the blacksmith shop and the home of Congressman Raul Grijalva.  Yup ... he grew up right here.  Who is he?  I've no idea, but I'm about to find out.


  1. What a spectacular place. You always take fabulous pictures and l enjoy your comments.
    You make my day Nancy.

    1. Aww thank you so much Frances! I'm glad we made contact after all these years!!

  2. Good history lesson. Funny how many films depicting a 'state' or even a large specific territory, is not even filmed in that local. Watched a Amazon movie the other day which was suppose to be in "Alaska"...but it was filmed in B.C. instead.

    1. It certainly makes you feel bad for the Indians that lived here first. I know that marauding was their way of life, but we moved in to their land.

  3. I’m glad to hear Cooper is doing better. What an interesting place.I love the chaps. The trees holding the beams in the sunroom/patio are very ingenious. I’m looking forward to the blacksmith shop.


    1. It's amazing that all those tree stumps are still there standing strong.

  4. I've never heard of Canoa Ranch. Very interesting!

    1. I saw the sign on the way to Tubac, but had heard it was basically for "birding". Lots of history there.

  5. I am not really into quilts but I found the one below the Noah's Ark quilt very fascinating.